ESPN Cancels Rachel Nichols Following Maria Taylor Controversy


Rachel Nichols
Rachel Nichols via Twitter

*Rachel Nichols has been pulled from all of ESPN’s NBA programming following her controversial comments about colleague Maria Taylor

Nichols has been in the hot seat ever since her private comments were leaked about the network’s decision to have Taylor, who is Black, host the NBA Finals, as reported by Black Enterprise.

In the conversation, Nichols, who is white, expressed frustration that Taylor had been chosen over her to host “NBA Countdown” during last year’s NBA Finals, suggesting that the network made the decision because it was “feeling pressure” on diversity.

READ MORE: Maria Taylor Exits ESPN After ‘Diversity’ Controversy with Host Rachel Nichols

“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball,” Nichols said in July 2020. “If you need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity — which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it — like, go for it. Just find it somewhere else. You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away.”

Shortly after audio of the conversation hit the Internet, Nichols issued a public apology and the network removed her from NBA Finals coverage.

Per Sports Business Journal, Nicholas has been taken off of NBA coverage and her weekday afternoon show The Jump will be canceled. 

“We mutually agreed that this approach regarding our NBA coverage was best for all concerned,” said ESPN Senior VP of Production David Roberts. “Rachel is an excellent reporter, host and journalist, and we thank her for her many contributions to our NBA content.”

Nichols is still under contract with ESPN, but she will not host the remaining episodes of “The Jump.”



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